Mobile Units Arrive by Appointment Only : Unusual Car Wash Firm Makes House Calls
A veteran airlines executive and travel agent, fed up with the decline in tourism to Mexico, has opened a new business that pampers automobile owners with house calls.
Manuel Lozano, 48, former district and regional manager of Aeromexico and Mexicana Airlines with more than 20 years experience in tourism promotion in several U.S. cities, is the owner of “Car Wash and Wax by Us,” a mobile car wash.
“I wanted a change in my life, because there is too much politics in travel promotion these days and tourism to Mexico is declining,” he said. “I tested this car wash company in the Los Angeles area and I know it will produce revenue.”
Lozano, a native of Delicias, a small Chihuahua town 340 miles south of El Paso, said his new firm is starting with a small office in El Paso and two mobile units. He said he expects the company to expand within a year.
“Our market is every person who owns a car and does not have the time to take it to get it washed and waxed,” Lozano said. “We operate by appointments.
“A customer calls us and we go to their house to wash and hand wax their car. The customer gets personalized service without wasting long, boring hours, waiting for cars to come out of the car wash.”
Price of services ranges from $5 for a simple car wash to $75 for “auto detailing,” which includes wash, hand wax, protection fluid on whitewalls, vinyl tops and dashboards, cleaning of chrome, vacuuming of seats and carpets, and steam cleaning of the engine.
Other services to be provided by the firm include minor vehicle repairs, oil and filter change and, eventually, when additional equipment is purchased, lubrication.
“The mobile units will be equipped with radios as soon as the licensing is obtained from the Federal Communications Commission,” he said. “We will be able to serve all of El Paso and outlying areas at first and later we will expand into west Texas and southern New Mexico.”
The mobile unit contains a large tank of recyclable water. The supply is enough to wash recreational vehicles, motor homes and truck cabs. The units also carry all the other cleaning materials used by the firm.
“In California, when we were experimenting with the company, we were busy on weekends, just like the stationary car washes,” Lozano said. “One weekend we solicited business from the patrons of a neighborhood bar and were busy for two days.”
Lozano said he went to car wash and mechanics school in California to prepare for the new venture.
“I never washed my own car in my entire life before I got into this business,” he said. “Now I’m an expert.”
Lozano said he will not use his newly acquired expertise, however, opting to manage the firm from the confines of a small office and delegating vehicle washing to two employees he has trained.
“El Paso is a better place to open a new business than California because the cost of living is not that high,” he said. “I also have many friends and business contacts here. The border is a good place to do business.”
Lozano is no stranger to the business world. He was owner and manager of Lozano Taxi Cab, Limousine and Tours for four years in Anaheim, Calif., and was named by former President Jimmy Carter to represent 2,000 small California businesses at a conference in Washington. “In addition to a career with the Mexican airline industry I have had the opportunity these past few years to learn a great deal in all phases of business management,” he said. “This new business venture is something I’m excited about.”